Dr. James Ulager, a Catholic doctor who specializes in family medicine, will be the speaker at the next meeting of Vermont Catholic Professionals.

A husband, father of four and parishioner of St. Jude Church in Hinesburg, he hopes Vermont Catholic professionals will find a sense of connection through the meeting, scheduled for Oct. 19 at 8:30 a.m. at the Bishop Brady Center, 55 Joy Drive, South Burlington. “We are each only individual members of the one Body of Christ,” he said.

His practice of medicine is informed by his faith in many ways. “You have to be compassionate and have a desire to serve, but even more often, you need to be patient and merciful with yourself, remembering that Christ is the true healer,” he said.

The increased division in the United States is a concern for him. “As professionals we often have the opportunity to interact with people that may feel differently than we do. There’s a temptation to hunker down in our own values. While I don’t for a minute suggest we compromise our values, I do think the relationships we have as professionals give us the opportunity to put love for the other person above our own specific points of view. There’s a lot of opportunity for riches when we can do that,” said the University of Pennsylvania medical school graduate. “I think what really gets to us when we encounter people who are suffering is we are facing our own mortality, our own brokenness. That’s why the word of God is rightfully called the Good News. Yes, we are broken. But it is love that heals us, the deep love of our creator that heals us all.”

Professionals in any career, have the opportunity to embody that love for other human beings. “And sometimes we fall short of that embodiment. But we are forgiven too. That’s the beauty,” Ulager said.

The mission of Vermont Catholic Professionals is to join Catholic men and women and those with shared values from the business and professional communities to encourage intellectual discussions, to foster professional and faith-based relationships and to inspire service and charity to the community in Vermont.

For more information on Vermont Catholic Professionals, go to vermontcatholic.org/about/vermont-catholic-professionals.

—Originally published in the Fall 2022 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.